Frequently Asked Questions

What is Let’s Talk?

Let’s Talk is a drop-in program where students can stop by for a brief, confidential, and anonymous conversation with a professional CAPS counselor to receive consultation, support, referrals, and advice.  Meetings are first-come, first served, so students may have a brief wait. Let’s Talk is offered at various sites around campus during the school year when classes are in session, except for the first week of classes and finals week. There is no appointment necessary and no fee.  Let’s Talk is not a substitute for therapy or formal counseling and does not constitute mental health treatment. 

Visit the Let's Talk page of the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) website for the latest schedule of Let’s Talk locations, days, and times. You can also get info on Let's Talk on our calendar and Facebook page.

How is Let’s Talk different from CAPS individual counseling?

Counselors at CAPS provide more formal brief individual counseling, which usually consists of up to a handful of weekly or bi-weekly 45- to 50-minute sessions by appointment. Let’s Talk is not formal counseling; it is a drop-in service that provides informal consultation once or twice a year, lasting around 20 minutes or more (time permitting).

Who should visit Let’s Talk?

This service is open to all registered UCSC undergraduate and graduate students. Let’s Talk is the best fit for:

  • Students who have a question or concern that would benefit from a brief consultation
  • Students who are hesitant or curious about counseling and want to learn more about it
  • Students who are concerned about a friend and would like information or advice
  • Students who are not interested in therapy but would like to get a counselor’s perspective

I’ve already spoken with a CAPS counselor who recommended more formal counseling or other therapy services. Can I stop by Let’s Talk as well?

It’s best to stick to the plan you and the CAPS counselor decided on. You are welcome to try Let’s Talk if you think a short consultation with a counselor could help, but remember that Let’s Talk is not set up to handle emergencies or to replace formal counseling.

I’m currently in crisis and need support right away.  Could I go to the next available Let’s Talk session?

Let’s Talk is not set up to help students in crisis, as the counselor will not have all the appropriate resources available at the Let's Talk location to best support you. If you are in crisis, you should call CAPS for immediate support at (831) 459-2628, walk in to CAPS during business hours, or dial 911 in a life-threatening emergency.  CAPS has crisis counselors available during normal business hours (Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.) at the CAPS central office in the Student Health Center, East Wing, 2nd floor.  You can also speak by phone with an after-hours crisis counselor at night and on weekends and holidays by calling the main CAPS number, (831) 459-2628, and selecting option “3” on the automated menu.

What else do I need to know?

Let’s Talk counselors provide informal consultations to help students with specific problems and introduce them to what it’s like to speak with a professional counselor. Your Let’s Talk counselor can help you determine whether formal counseling or other services would be useful for you and, if appropriate, assist you in scheduling an appointment.

Let’s Talk visits are confidential. Are there any limits to confidentiality?

Conversations with Let’s Talk counselors are confidential, with rare exceptions. Counselors may need to share information in an emergency when there is an immediate threat of harm to self or others. Counselors are required by law to report when a minor, elderly person, or mentally or physically dependent adult who is unable to act on his or her own behalf is being abused.  Let’s Talk visits are not recorded on a student’s official record or within CAPS.  We don’t want anything to be a barrier to students accessing help. If you have further questions about confidentiality, we encourage you to discuss them with a Let’s Talk counselor.

To request disability accommodations, please call CAPS at (831) 459-2628.